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Fertil Steril. 2010 Aug;94(3):1021-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.039. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Adverse effect of paroxetine on sperm.

Author information

1
James Buchanan Brady Foundation, Department of Urology, Cornell Reproductive Medicine Institute, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effects of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor on semen parameters.

DESIGN:

Prospective study.

SETTING:

Academic medical center.

PATIENT(S):

Thirty-five healthy male volunteers, 18-65 years old.

INTERVENTION(S):

Paroxetine administration for 5 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Serum hormone levels, semen analyses, percent sperm DNA fragmentation, and questionnaire assessment of sexual function assessed before, during, and 1 month after drug administration.

RESULT(S):

Mean sperm DNA fragmentation was significantly higher for men while on paroxetine (30.3%) versus baseline (13.8%). Before paroxetine, 9.7% of patients had a terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) score>or=30% compared with 50% at week 4 of treatment. The odds ratio (OR) of having abnormal DNA fragmentation while taking paroxetine was 9.33 (95% confidence interval, 2.3-37.9]. Multivariate logistic regression correcting for age and body mass index confirmed this correlation (OR, 11.12). Up to 35% of men noted significant changes in erectile function and up to 47% of men reported ejaculatory difficulties on medication. Recovery to near-normal sexual function was noted after stopping treatment. Standard semen parameters were not significantly altered during paroxetine treatment.

CONCLUSION(S):

In men with normal semen parameters, paroxetine induced abnormal sperm DNA fragmentation in a significant proportion of subjects, without a measurable effect on semen parameters. The fertility potential of a substantial number of men on paroxetine may be adversely affected by these changes in sperm DNA integrity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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